No deaths but Kuwait COVID cases up by 554

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 30, (Agencies): Kuwait’s Health Ministry on Thursday said that 554 people tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total to 416,631. The recoveries rose by 86 to 411,590, while death toll from the pandemic remained unchanged at 2,468, the Ministry’s Spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad told KUNA. There are four ICUs cases, while 2,573 others are being treated, in addition to 24 patients at COVID-19 wards, he noted. Medical swabs conducted over the same period hit 24,297, raising the total to 5.9 million, Al-Sanad made clear.

Vaccination against the coronavirus on Jaber Bridge medical center was halted on Thursday due to stormy and rainy weather, the Ministry of Health declared in a statement. The immunization was stopped out of keenness on peoples’ safety, the MoH said alluding to the stormy weather, distinguished with torrential rain and roaring gale winds. The makeshift center, established on the bridge, started on December 26, providing the booster shot against COVID-19 without an advance appointment from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day except for Saturdays.

The United Arab Emirates declared on Thursday recording two deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) along with 2,366 infection cases over the past 24 hours. The UAE Ministry of Health said in a statement that the death toll of the pandemic climbed to 2,162 and total count of the contamination cases settled at 759,511. It added that 840 new recovery cases were also recorded during the same period, whereas the tally of the cured stood at 744,180. The UAE along with the other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Kuwait, have been battling the pandemic with various means and protective measures.

The anti-covid measures have largely proven effective against the contagion, globally, however it has mutated several times and now bulk of the world nations are grappling to fight the latest strain, omicron. Saudi Arabia declared on Thursday listing a single death with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in addition to 752 infection cases over the past hours. The Saudi Ministry of Health said in its daily pandemic report that the death toll of the contagion rose to 8,875 while tally of the infection cases settled at 555,417.

As the fast-spreading coronavirus variant omicron rages through Western Europe, officials and experts in low-vaccinated Eastern Europe anticipate a post-holiday explosion of COVID- 19 cases in much of the region. Many countries in Eastern europe only recently emerged from infection waves that put a catastrophic strain on health care systems, and at times have tallied some of the highest pandemic death rates globally. Now, with omicron already confirmed across the region and the winter holidays bringing more community gatherings and international travel, public health officials are predicting a sharp virus surge in the coming weeks.

Adriana Pistol, director of Romania’s National Center for Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases, warned Wednesday that the country could see a peak of 25,000 new daily cases during the expected next wave. Romania is the European Union’s second-least vaccinated member nation. Noting that roughly 60% of Romania’s people over age 65 or living with chronic diseases remain unvaccinated, Pistol said: “Even if the omicron strain does not have the same level of severity, the health system will be overloaded anyway and reach levels recorded this year in October.” Romania saw huge lines at borders before Christmas as hundreds of thousands of citizens flocked home, many from the West. The government started requiring travelers to complete passenger locator forms as of Dec. 20 to help track infections, but Pistol said many have failed to fill them out. Only 40% of Romania’s population of around 19 million has been fully inoculated against COVID-19. Although booster doses are considered necessary to provide adequate protection against omicron, Pistol noted that three-quarters of the country’s fully jabbed individuals have yet to receive an additional shot. Romania’s underfunded public health system teetered on the brink of collapse a few months ago, during the country’s last explosion of virus cases. Hospital morgues ran out of space for bodies, and some patients were transferred abroad for treatment because COVID-19 intensive care units were filled to capacity.

Exhausted medical personnel watched with dread as countries with high vaccination rates such as France, Italy and the U.K. reported record cases as omicron spread in recent days. “It’s very clear that the fifth wave will probably hit us in January,” Dragos Zaharia, a primary care doctor at the Marius Nasta Institute of Pneumology in Bucharest, said. “We just hope that there will be fewer deaths, fewer severe cases, and fewer hospital admissions.”

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